Also can you please gush to me about Nine/Rose?? Like I love them and ship them but sometimes I struggle a little because Nine is so obviously smitten, but with Rose there's Mickey and Adam and Jack and she denies anything with Nine for most of the season. So I tend to favor Ten(too)/Rose because they feel more equal in affection to me, if that makes sense??
See, the thing is though, where we see how smitten Nine is, 90% of the time, he’s being obviously smitten where she can’t see. All those glances and the way he talks about her to others… she doesn’t get those indicators so to her perception, he’s probably a little confusing. He does things like tell her she’s beautiful and weighs the fate of the world against her life but he also tries to be super stoic when she tests the waters as to his interest. Plus she had to process the alien thing and doesn’t know if he would be interested in a human at all.
So she has Mickey who is safe and adores her and she’s reluctant to leave that safety net. Adam is a blip on the map to me. She wanted to show him up and thought he was a bit of alright but he was just a distraction, you know? And Jack? I think she was attracted to him and he’s a potent flirt but after that first meeting, they settled into a friendship that was more suited to them.
So Nine fell hard and fast and before Rose did but Rose fell in love over the course of the season and it’s Beautiful. They get closer and closer and trust each other and there are no declarations but they’re so Solid. They reach for each other often and depend on each other and laugh together.
Nine in general is just more subtle than Ten with his affection and therefore Rose is as well. They play off of each other and are still trying to figure out what is okay, how far they can take it, is it going to work. They think they have Time and they don’t and it makes me so sad. So yeah, they deny it but some of that is that they don’t know where the other stands. There’s undeniably something there but they aren’t sure if the other person acknowledges it, much less wants to act upon it.
They’re just so good for each other. He makes her braver and stronger and more confident and she is like a balm on his wounded soul and teaches him how to see the wonder in ordinary things again. Their jagged edges fit together so well but they still are jagged and they hurt each other but they’re together. His smile is never as tender as when it’s directed at Rose. Her’s is never as bright with anyone but him. They are all about the subtleties. (Until they’re not.) (Until he falls apart completely when he thinks she’s dead - unable to be angry or sad or anything… just numb and empty and devoid of her light.) (Until he sends her away and she refuses to give up on him and let him die so she takes the vortex into her, takes the heart of the tardis into her and goes to save him because she will not lose him.)
Like i understand why people ship Ten(too)/Rose more because it’s a more overt romance but it’s all built on how they grew together when he wore a leather jacket and slightly overlarge ears. They were building a foundation, building a friendship that could withstand regeneration and alternate universes. They were falling in love and watching that is what makes me love them so very much.